Crucial Conversation Concepts Guidance for conversations with youth in a cyber-powered world, wherein it is easy to believe things that are not true and focus on things that do not really matter.
As we work through the global response to the Corona pandemic, the most important thing we can do for our children is to show them how to take responsibility for our own thoughts and actions in a time of crisis and anxiety. In my opinion, the bigger contagion is the fear-based reaction of people which does not necessarily make things better. Below is an excerpt from Fresh Start about the importance of knowing the difference between a predicament and a problem. During this time of self isolation and social distancing it will be important to help our children learn this skill.
To schedule a teleconference appointment to learn more about training on insights and tools to parent during the pandemic, contact me, Joanna.
Problems versus Predicaments
Some of the best lessons in parenting I gleaned from my experience as a business executive. During the Y2K transition (the new millennium date change from 1999 to 2000 was perceived as a major issue for computer systems), I managed a global support service operation for publishing systems and there was a resource challenge to conduct the Y2K support and routine maintenance. One of the most helpful concepts to lead global operations through this crisis I found in the book, Management of the Absurd, Paradoxes in Leadership, by Richard Farson, which advocated to business leaders that control is an illusion, and argued that managers too often try to exert control by solving problems when not everything is a problem to be solved.
Farson presented an important distinction between a problem and a predicament. A problem could be solved; a predicament required coping because there is not a solution possible. So with this understanding among the clients and staff we managed the Y2K situation as a temporary crisis – it was a predicament, not a problem; and everyone agreed to shift resources to Y2K as a coping mechanism through the transition into 2000. And yet, had we treated the Y2K resource constraint as a problem to be solved, we would have failed – there was no “solution” possible under those circumstances.
Let’s examine a more germane example for parents.
When my youngest was an infant, we had moved into a two-story home. Rather than set up gates to keep him from falling, I supervised, instructed and coached my infant son to crawl down the stairs on his stomach, feet first. He never experienced a spill down the stairs at our home or anywhere else for lack of skill and knowledge. Had I relied upon the gate as “the solution” to keep him safe, the chances of his having a serious accident were greater – that the gate would not be securely latched, or worse yet, he could have fallen downstairs somewhere else because there were no gates (we cannot baby proof every environment).
The worry of the baby falling down the stairs was a temporary situation that did not require him to walk; it did require him to use whatever means he could master to navigate stairs safely. While I am not advising parents to not use gates (there may be reasons why you need to use them), this example demonstrates that it is also important that your child is able to master safety for herself whenever possible, as early as possible. Especially in the network culture.
What is the difference between authoritarian (i.e., “I am in control of you”) and authoritative (i.e., “I am in charge of teaching you how to be in control of yourself”) parenting styles? How can your parenting style empower or discourage children to assume healthy responsibility for their own thoughts and actions on and off-line?
Other topics for crucial conversations:
About: We are a non-profit education center founded in Roseville, CA to strengthen the parent-child bond in a hyper-connected world. Our mission is to restore families with the mustard seed of faith that declares liberty already belongs to the soul because one God, the Creator of all humanity, grants every human being intelligence and free will to choose what to believe, and that is power that can never be taken, but is easily surrendered to the bully, the drug or the device.
Peace on earth begins with peace at home.
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Joanna Jullien is an author, educator and consultant on strengthening the parent-child relationship in a cyber-powered world. She is a former technology executive trained in behavioral science at U.C. Berkeley, a mother of two grown sons, and an author of books for practical guidance on parenting, growing up and family life in the network culture. As a family and technology culture advisor, Joanna has appeared on 103.9FM The Fish, 710AM Keeping Faith in America, 1380AM The Answer, and Examiner.com.